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    Nicaragua Volcano Erupts

    December 27, 2012, 5:22:14 AM EST

    The San Cristobal volcano has erupted, sending clouds of ash and gas thousands of feet above the Nicaragua landscape.

    Hundreds of nearby residents were told to leave after government officials declared an "amber alert" for the immediate area of the volcano, the BBC News website said.

    Since the first blasts Tuesday night, at least 15 separate, relatively small eruptive outbursts were detected.


    Volcan San Cristobal tops at 5,725 feet above northwestern Nicaragua. (Photo credit: Smithsonian National Museum/Jaime Incer)

    San Cristobal, located about 85 miles northwest of Managua, is described as the nation's most active volcano, the BBC said.

    The last eruption happened in September, killing some livestock.

    San Cristobal lies within an arc of active volcanoes stretching across Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.


    The Middle America volcanic arc, stretching parallel to the Pacific coast, holds the vast majority of Central America's volcanoes. (Photo credit: Smithsonian National Museum)

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